Obedience-oriented education originated inHonduras. It grew out of a “TEEE” program, which grew out of a TEE program, which grew out of a TE program. Let us explain these E’s
TE means Theological Education, usually in a resident seminary or Bible institute.
TEE means Theological Education by Extension.
TEEE means Theological Education and Evangelism by Extension.
Any of these three types of Theological Education can be obedience-oriented, if it builds the curriculum on the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ (Mat. 28:18-20). Doctrine, Bible, church history, and other such “subjects” do not form the basis for the course of study. Rather, the primary educational objectives are Christ’s orders for His universal Church. This priority will quietly revolutionize a seminary or Bible institute.
TEE takes pastoral studies to the student where he is. It reaches men who cannot leave their homes or jobs. It relates their studies to their work with a local congregation in the community, and not in the seclusion of a resident seminary. Self-teaching textbooks permit less time spent in the classroom, but require more private study. TEE aims primarily to educate, not to evangelize nor start new congregations.
TEEE integrates evangelism with TEE. It aims primarily to edify the congregations immediately. We define evangelism not as “soul-winning” but as the birth and growth of congregations, the edification of the Body of Christ. Education and evangelism, combined in one program, powerfully reinforce each other. Pioneer missionaries often use some kind of TEEE, where church planting must be accompanied by a pastoral training program.
How did the Honduras Extension Bible Institute come to apply TEEE? Our TEE program, when integrated with the third E (evangelism) proved to be an efficient tool for planting new congregations and evangelizing the lost. Broadening its scope this way did not weaken its educational capacity as some predicted, but strengthened it. This happy marriage between education and evangelism blossomed as we oriented the education toward obedience. Workers and congregations multiplied in a way unknown to our former TE program (a traditional resident Bible Institute).
The Lord Jesus Christ does not honor any particular educational method. He taught in a variety of ways. God does not bless methods. He blesses loving, faithful obedience. Certain Biblical principles of teaching enable us to make more obedient disciples.
Many congregations emphasize the “body” in which all members of a congregation work together in one Spirit. TEEE applies the same concept on the inter-church level. Sound relations between congregations create an extension chain to reproduce daughter congregations. The “Paul-Timothy” relationship between extension trainers and students edifies the Body locally and regionally, as seen in 2 Tim. 2: 1-2. It enables normal growth of the Body.
The Honduras Extension Bible Institute prepared this explanation of the obedience-oriented pastoral course. The principles may be helpful in training pastors and starting churches in other areas. The obedience orientation is not simply a method. It is a way of thinking and acting in obedience to Christ. It applies to the resident seminary, the extension institute, or any church whose pastor trains a “Timothy” in order to multiply his own ministry. If we start with total obedience to Christ and follow through without regard for tradition, we arrive at the some definite requirements for theological education, which make up the basic outline of this document.…Read All.